If you are planning to hike in Cusco, you may find it difficult to choose between the most popular routes in Cusco, here are some differences between the Inca Trail 4 days and the Clasicc Salkantay trek .

Trekking in the Andes of Peru is undoubtedly one of the best adventures, the Andes offers a biodiversity of species of flora and fauna, you will be trapped with so much beauty that offers each destination in Peru, however, the routes of Inca Trail and Salkantay trek are the most popular treks and considered the best hikes by national geographic, achieving appreciate enigmatic Inca monuments, mountains, cloud forests and jungle in its natural state.

Differences in difficulty 

1. Inca trail

The difficulty of Inca trail is moderate compared to other trekking routes in Cusco, the Inca trail 4 days, is a 43 kilometers journey Crossing mountains, cloud forests with abundant vegetation and in that way reach the sanctuary of Machupicchu.

Difficulty level Inca Trail

Day 1: 11 kilometers     Difficulty: Moderate      Altitude: 3,850 masl 12,631 ft.

Day 2: 19 Kilometers   Difficulty: Hard              Altitude: 4,600 masl 15,090 ft.

Day 3: 16 kilometers    Difficulty: Hard              Altitude: 2,800 masl 9,080 ft.

Day 4: 3 kilometers     Difficulty: Moderate       Altitude: 2,740 masl 8,901 ft.

2. Salkantay Trek 

the difficulty of the Salkantay trek 5 days is high compared to the Inca Trail. The trekking distances are longer, that is why there are two trekking programs: Basically it will make the trek more demanding, the distances are longer to reach Machupicchu. This trip will make the trek more resting time and more stops for a better enjoyment of the trek.

Difficulty level Salkantay Trek

Day 1: 11 kilometers      Difficulty: Moderate       Altitude: 3,850 masl 12,631 ft.

Day 2: 19 Kilometers    Difficulty: Hard               Altitude: 4,600 masl 15,090 ft.

Day 3: 16 kilometers     Difficulty: Hard               Altitude: 2,800 masl 9,080 ft.

Day 4: 3 kilometers       Difficulty: Moderate       Altitude: 2,740 masl 8,901 ft.

Difference of the most difficult sections

Inca Trail: The one day and second day are more difficult because they go through mountains, reaching high altitude elevations.

Salkantay Trek: The first day and third day are the most difficult because they cross the Salkantay mountain, and have longer treks.

Differences between the two treks

Inca trail Trek 

Note: Take into account the state of your heart, muscular pains and back, so that you can do the Inca Trail without discomfort.

Salkantay trek

Which trek is better?

Without a doubt both treks are impressive, but as they are different types of treks, you should choose between one of them.

Dead Woman Pass – Inca Trail

Inca Trail Trek

Explore in the Inca culture, to get to know archaeological sites and to experience up close how the Incas used to move along enormous trails that still remain and to reach the historic sanctuary of Machu picchu as the Inca ancestors did, this trek is made for you.

the Inca Trail has biosecurity protocols which must be complied with, read more about the protocols at: Inca Trail Protocol

Soraypampa – Salkantay Mountain

Salkantay Trek

If you are a nature lover, if you want to get close to sacred lakes and mountains and pass through virgin jungle that is little explored, if you want to exchange the production of Andean coffee with the communities, you will undoubtedly live one of the best travel experiences with the final arrival at Machupicchu.


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